FG Orders Complete Audit Of Dana Airline

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Few weeks after the Dana Airline overshot its runway in Port Harcourt, the Federal Government has ordered a full audit of its operations.

The aircraft with registration number 9J0363, flying from Abuja to Port Harcourt airport had overshot the Port Harcourt runway, on Feburary 20, 2018.

The incident was suspected to have been caused by a heavy rain, which was accompanied by strong wind and storm in Port Harcourt as no causalty was recorded.

However,  the Senate on Tuesday summoned the Minister of State Aviation, Hadi Sirika, to appear before lawmakers at Plenary and explain the reason for the recent air mishaps and near fatalities in the country.

A federal lawmaker, Senator Gbenga Ashafa, in a notion observed that there were two air mishaps in February 2018.

One of them he says involved a plane belonging to Dana airline which overshot the runway upon landing at the Port Harcourt airport.

But the General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Henrietta Yakubu, explained the incident saying, “The incident was suspected to have been caused by a heavy rain, which was accompanied by strong wind and storm in Port Harcourt.

“No casualty was recorded, as all passengers on board were safely evacuated.

But the lawmaker, Senator Ashafa, has expressed concerned that these recent occurrences might be a sign of a sequence of human errors caused by the failure of officials and staff of agencies, to carry out due diligence before issuing clearance for aircraft to operate within the Nigerian airspace.

FG Commences Investigation Into Dana Air Mishap

 

The Federal Government has commenced investigation into the accident involving an airline operated by Dana Airline.

The investigation is being carried out by the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB).

AIB under the Federal Ministry of Transportation is set up to investigate any civil aircraft accident and serious incident in Nigerian airspace. It is aimed at improving aviation safety by determining the circumstances and causes of air accidents in Nigeria.

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has also heightened safety oversight over the operator after the accident.

The investigation by AIB is in accordance with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Annex 13. ‎

READ ALSO: Passengers Accuse Dana Air Of Neglect 

Dana Air Plane Overshoots Runway In Port Harcourt

Spokesperson of the Ministry of State, Aviation James Odaudu, said this in a statement made available to Channels Television on Wednesday. He said efforts are in place to continuously enhance safety and security in the aviation sector.

“Efforts are in place to continuously enhance Safety and Security in our industry in accordance with the reformation agenda of the Buhari Administration for the aviation sector,” the statement read in part.

The Ministry aviation in the statement also sympathised with the passengers on the aircraft over the traumatic experience and assures that the Federal Government will not falter in its commitment to the safety and security of lives and property in the Nigerian airspace.

The plane belonging to Dana Air on Tuesday, February 20 was involved in an accident. This was after it overshot the runway in Port Harcourt Airport while flying from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in the nation’s capital Abuja.

The aircraft had the following details: 5N-SRI, flight number: 0348, Type: MD 83. 54 passengers were on board including five crew members. Everyone on board were evacuated safely and no reported casualties. The weather condition was rainy.

The Airport was thereafter closed briefly for safety reasons. It was reopened after proper assessment on Wednesday morning.

Dana Airline Crash Victim Yet To Get Compensation

danaOne of the victims of the Dana Airline crash of June 3, 2012, Daniel Omowumi, has revealed that he was yet to be compensated for the loss he suffered on the day of the crash.

Describing his ordeal on Channels Television’s Sunrise, Mr. Omowumi stated that as a result of the Dana Airline aircraft which crashed into a residential area in Lagos, he lost four houses and a fish pond.

Omowumi, who escaped death because he was in church on the day of the crash, alleged that the airline had shown signs that it was not willing to compensate him for his losses.

Although the case had been taken to court, he revealed that the airline has refused to take his case seriously despite his lawyer having written to them.

“My lawyer has been writing to them and they have not replied. It is so clear that they don’t want to pay because every document that they have asked for has been provided to them”, he noted.

He further stated that he had met with the management of the Airline who gave assurances of the company getting him back to the state he was before the crash incident but unfortunately no word had since come from them.

Mr. Omowumi also revealed that he had written to the House Committee on Aviation and also the Ministry of Aviation to come to his aid but was yet to also get any word from them.

He reaffirmed his determination to get compensation from the airline.

Dana Air To Resume Operations

The Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah on Monday said that the suspension place on Dana airline operation has been lifted and that the company can resume flights immediately.

In a statement released by her Special Assistant on Media, Joe Obi, the Minister said the decision to lift the suspension of Dana operation was taken after a meeting between the management of the airline and federal aviation authority.

The statement reads, “Officials of the Federal Ministry of Aviation and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) met with the Management team from Dana Airlines today (Monday) in Abuja and deliberated on some safety issues in connection with the operations of the airline.

“At the end of the meeting, the suspension of the operations of the airline which took effect last Saturday was lifted. The airline is to resume normal operations immediately.

“However, the particular aircraft which had a snag over the weekend is to remain grounded until after its air-worthiness has been recertified by Boeing, the manufacturer of the aircraft.”

The operating license of Dana Airline was suspended over the weekend after it was allowed to restart operations following a crash of one of its air crafts in June 2012 that resulted in the death of 153 passengers and 10 others on ground, the airline said on Sunday.

Dana was suspended, but was allowed to start flights again in September, despite an inquiry into the cause of the crash not yet being complete.

Dana Airline Suspended Again

Dana Airline has been re-suspended six months after it was allowed to restart operations following a crash of one of its air crafts in June 2012 that resulted in the death of 153 passengers and 10 others on ground, the airline said on Sunday.

Dana Air said in a statement it did not know the reason for the suspension by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

In June, Dana Air flight 992, a McDonnell Douglas MD-83, crashed into an apartment block in a populated Lagos suburb, killing 153 people on board and 10 others on the ground.

Dana was suspended, but was allowed to start flights again in September, despite an inquiry into the cause of the crash not yet being complete.

President Goodluck Jonathan sacked the Director General of the NCAA last week and has proposed Captain Fola Akinkuotu as replacement to the Senate.

A statement by the Head, Corporate Communications, Dana Air, Mr. Tony Usidamen, said, “We regret to announce the temporary suspension of our flight operations following a directive from the Ministry of Aviation through the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority on Saturday, March 16, 2013; no specific reason was given for the action.

“A meeting is, however, scheduled between the management of Dana Air, the Ministry of Aviation and the NCAA on Monday, March 18, and we will update you as we get more information. We thank you for your patience and understanding, and we look forward to having the pleasure of welcoming you on board again shortly.”

The Senate Committee on Aviation had a few months ago recommended that the Federal Government should revoke the operating licence of Dana Air, saying it was not issued in line with standard safety procedures.

The committee also recommended the removal of the former DG of NCAA, Dr. Harold Demuren.

Dana Crash: Absence Of Pathologist Stalls Inquest

The coroner’s inquest into the 3 June 2012 Dana Plane crash in Lagos has failed to resume on Tuesday following the absence of a consultant pathologist, John Obafunwa.

153 passengers aboard the plane and some residents of Iju-Ishaga area of Lagos State, where the plane crash occurred, were killed in the incident.

The inquest had been due to resume on Tuesday following the dismissal of a suit filed against the proceedings by a group, Civil Aviation Round Table.

The suit was dismissed by Justice Okon Abang of a Federal High Court in Lagos for lacking in merit.

Mr Obafunwa, who is the Chief Medical Examiner of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja had testified on July 25,2012 on the cause of death of the victims.

He was expected to be cross-examined on his testimony and submit the autopsy reports to the court.

Following his absence, the Lagos State Coroner, Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe said the proceedings could not go on.

Also to be cross-examined is Capt. Oscar Wilson, Director of Flight Operations, Dana Airlines who had also given evidence before the inquest.

Magistrate Oyetade has therefore adjourned the inquest till the 18th of Jan. 2013 to enable summons to be served on witnesses and parties expected to testify before the court.

Our ‘Perfect’ Aviation System Is Killing Us – Ikponwosa

A pilot, Benson Ikponwosa on Monday said the problem with the Nigerian aviation industry is the perception that we have a perfect system while in the real sense the system is outdated.

Mr Ikponwosa, who was speaking as a guest on Channels Television programme, Sunrise Daily, said because our pilots think they are perfect, they die in ignorance.

“It could happen in those days that a perfectly normal pilot, who’s been flying on line, he goes for recurrent training. Suddenly, he fails in his ability to control the simulator if he was flying a twin engine airplane; he fails in his ability to control that airplane on one engine when the simulator simulate one engine situation for him.

“If he was flying a four engine airplane, he fails in his ability, if he was a first officer to fly that aeroplane on three engines or if he was a captain to fly it on two engines.

“When these things happen in those days, those pilots, what do the airlines do? They ground them until they are able to show that they can now handle the airplanes in those situations.”

Mr Ikponwosa said this is not the case nowadays where airlines recruit in-house trainers for their pilot because it was too expensive to send pilots out for training.

He said the problem with these in-house trainings is that “everybody passes” the test at the end of the recurrent training.

Crashed Dana plane could have run out of fuel – Pilot

A pilot and aviation expert, Benson Ikponwosa on Monday said the only plausible explanation to the recent Dana plane crash could be shortage of fuel.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Ikponwosa said a plane that left Abuja with its two engines intact could not have lost both engines if aircraft had adequate supply of fuel.

A Dana Airline plane, flight MD83 had in June crashed into two buildings at the Agege area of Lagos State killing all 153 passengers and crew on aboard.

Mr Ikponwosa, who was speaking against the backdrop of Saturday’s Helicopter crash which killed the former Kaduna State governor, Patrick Yakowa; former National Security Adviser, Andrew Azazi and their aides, said ever since he became a pilot in 1977 no crash report in Nigeria have been made public.

Speaking on the doomed Dana plane, he said “up till now, you and I don’t know what made it go down. A lot of people say it lost two engines.

“Tell me how an air plane, who happily took off from Abuja, flew for about 55 minutes to Lagos. It didn’t lose two engines on the way until it got to Lagos. It is impossible. The only way those two engines could have packed up would have been if the guy ran out of fuel.”

He said if there was a lot of fuel in the air plane the fire that accompanied the crash would have been more than what it was.

FAAN names Dana Airline as best domestic airline in Nigeria

Despite an air crash that claimed the lives of 153 people four months ago, the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) over the weekend named Dana Air as the best domestic carrier for 2011.

According to FAAN’s Regional General Manager, Mr. Chris Bature, said the airline is yet to commence flights since the crash but was awarded the prize for its good customer relations and prompt payment of dues.

The Federal Government seized Dana Air’s license following the air disaster, but restored the license 93 days after the crash.

Speaking at the occasion, Bature stated that the airline was selected because of its outstanding performance and punctuality while Lufthansa Airlines was also selected as the best international carrier for the same period.

He explained that “mode of selection includes passenger capacity, frequency of the landing and take-off, their response to payment of bills.”

“Among the domestic carriers, they were the best. They had the best volume; they were punctual in their operations” he added.

Reacting to a question on the timing of the award which is coming four months after the June 3 Dana Air crash, Mr Bature explained that the award would have taken place earlier in the year and that the reward came after the operator’s license had been restored.

“In all fairness, they did their best and we need to recognize that and encourage them to get back to their feet,” he added.

Dana’s Station Manager at the Nnamdi Azikwe Airport in Abuja, Mr. Kayode Adeniran, stated that the airline’s commitment to best customer service and timely departure earned its the award.

“We have this policy in our company that we must not delay passengers, we have introduced another type of system. If your flight is delayed by 40 minutes, we give refreshments to all passengers that already had their boarding passes. So people will be impressed by our service” he said.

He however lamented the loss of lives by the crash, stressing that the operator visited and commiserated with the families of the deceased.

To prevent such a recurrence, the station manager revealed that the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has embarked on series of investigation to ascertain when the airline would be allowed to commence operations following the lifting of the ban on the airline by the federal government.

He noted that the airline has commenced demonstration flights as stipulated by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and that the operation would run until NCAA certifies the carrier fit to resume full operations.

The Dana Air crash on June 3, killed the entire 153 passengers and crew members on board and a number of people as the plane crashed into a densely populated area of Iju-Ishaga area of Lagos state. A number of buildings were also destroyed by the crash.

 

 

Nigeria aviation industry is dying gradually – Dele Ore

The President of the Aviation Roundtable, Captain Dele Ore on Friday said the aviation industry in Nigeria is dying gradually.

Captain Ore disclosed this on Channels Television’s Business Morning against the background of the recent controversies surrounding the crash, suspension and reinstatement of Dana airline.

He said it is unfortunate to have a sector that is supposed to be on the driver’s seat ahead of other sector in the economy dying gradually.

 

Aviation experts commend FG for restoring Dana Air’s operational licence

Captain Benson Ikponwosa commended the federal government for admitting that it suspended the license of Dana Airline in error.

The aviation expert said Nigerians have turned into “square pegs placing themselves into other peole’s round holes”.

Ikponwosa arhued that air crashes have occurred in other parts of the world and governments are not quick to take harsh decisions against the operators of the crashed air plane.

He said “You cant punish someone unless you find that person culpable of some infractions”.

Another expert on  aviation matters, Ikechi Uko, also agreed with Ikponwosa claiming that the error has a long history.

He said the government had made similar errors in the past when it  suspended the operational licence of Sosoliso ad Bellview Airlines after their aircrafts had crashed.

He said statistics show that air travel is the safest form of transportation in Nigeria.

Mr Uko compared figures from Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) on how many people die in road accidents in four years to the number of people that have died in plane crashes to back his claim.

Dana Air was not indicted for any wrongdoing – Aviation Minister

Re-visiting the Dana Air re-instatement by the authorities, Nigerians reacted sharply towards the move as Nigerians expressed shock and surprise in a vox-pop done by the ‘Station of the Decade’ to sample the opinion of Nigerians about the re-instatement of the Dana Air.

The Minister of Aviation; Stella Oduah was our guest on Sunrise daily this morning as she reacted to the lifting of the ban saying the ban was something that was not supposed to be done in the first place as it not an aviation practice as it has laws and procedures guiding the sector internationally.

She said further that the panel that was set for the technical and administrative audit for Dana Air and other airlines have completed their reports and Dana Air was not indicted for any wrongdoing.